Heuristic Evaluation and Redesign of the Mobi By Shaw Go Mobile Application
MOBI by ShawGo
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
My team was asked to conduct a heuristic evaluation of an existing digital product that we utilize that is not a part of the the big 4 tech companies. We decided to evaluate Mobi by Shaw Go, a bike-sharing system that relies on their users to keep track of their rides and favorite bike stalls through the mobile app, and it is important for their app’s accessibility and usability to match their municipal sustainable transportation goals.
The goal is to unveil existing usability issues through heuristic evaluation on a mobile application, in order to improve the overall performance.
Using Neilsen Norman Group’s 10 Usability Heuristics and rated the severity of usability problems from 0 to 4. This method helps to justify the existing problems and to gauge the need for additional usability efforts. Using our recommendations we have also redesigned the screens of our chosen task flow.
Part I: Heuristic Evaluation of Mobi by Shaw Go
The Mobi app is an integral player in the Vancouver bike-sharing system that relies on their users to keep track of their rides and favourite bike stalls through the mobile app, and it is important for their app’s accessibility and usability to match their municipal sustainable transportation goals. The concept of Mobi is a great solution to accessible biking; however, we can immediately notice from the ratings of the Google Play Store and App Store that the user experience has been on the lower side, at 1.8 stars, zero positive written reviews, and over a hundred critical reviews on the app store. By referencing Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics as our scope to rate the severity of usability problems on the Mobi app, our evaluation would be of value to justify the existing problems and to gauge the need for additional usability efforts.
DISCLAIMER: Multiple bugs and formatting issues exist throughout the app, which could not be included in the heuristic evaluation as it is out of our evaluation that focusses on the app’s user interface.
Selected Task Flow
From the moment the user decides to find a bike to rent to the point where the user docks their rented bike.
App Traits in Violation of Heuristics Principles
These are the targets to tackle, to prevent further user frustration and negative mobile app reviews:
• 6 traits at a severity level of 4 (usability catastrophe)
• 1 trait at a severity level of 3 (major usability issue)
• 5 traits at a severity level of 2 (minor usability issue)
• 2 traits at a severity level of 1 (cosmetic issue)
Through conducting our heuristic evaluation, the significant reoccurring violations fell within these heuristics principles:
1. Consistency and Standards
2. Aesthetic and Minimalist Design
The design of the Mobi app did not appear to have gone through the considerations of the longevity of quality and intuitive usage. The location page and the search bar were the most severe obstacles for user-friendliness. An alarming amount of redundancies were found in implementing both icons and pages that were not contributing to enhancing a user’s experience.
To tie into our critique, we would like to emphasize that Mobi is a great concept that Shaw Go had conceived to promote accessible biking. It is such an attractive concept that even with the difficulties and bad reviews on the app store, there had been over 50,000 downloads in the attempt of trying out this bike-sharing program. There is much potential for Mobi’s mobile application to be just as enriched as the purpose that drives their bike sharing initiative.
We can immediately tell that the user experience has been on the lower side, at only 1.8 stars, zero positive written reviews, and over a hundred critical reviews on the app store.
Here are the 5 usability heuristic principles that we evaluated from.
The task flow that we chose to focus on is the end-to-end experience of renting a bike after the process of onboarding,from the moment the user decides to find a bike to rent to the point where the user docks their rented bike.
Screen 1: Loading Page
If you take a look at the first screen here, you can notice that the Mobi /shaw logo is cut off as the app itself is not optimized for iOS devices. This, plus various other bugs that are present in the app will not be included in our heuristic evaluation.
Screen 2: Landing Page/ Map
Screen 3: Search Bar
Screen 4: Find station to add to favourites
Screen 5: Renting the Bike
Screen 6: Checking safety guidelines
Screen 7: Review your ride
To summarize from the average scores of each usability heuristic principle that we extracted from, it was no surprise that the numbers were reflective from our observations, where FLEXIBILITY AND EFFICIENCY OF USE ranked as what Nielson would describe as a usability catastrophe.
Summary of Changes
Here, we have a list of the app’s User Interface features that have been ranked from the order of the most efficient to fix for the most severe cases.
For the 7 burdens that are at level 4 severity, being a usability catastrophe, they must be fixed if the Mobi team values the knowledge of whether the app would further user frustration and negative app reviews.
And finally, we also have 7 traits listed at the severity level of 2, where nuisances exist, but fixing these shouldn’t be high on the priority list.
To conclude, we would like to emphasize that Mobi is a great concept that Shaw Go had conceived to promote accessible biking. It is such a great idea that even with the difficulties and bad reviews on the app store, there had been over 50,000 downloads in the attempt of trying out this bike sharing program.That being said, there’s so much potential for Mobi’s mobile application to be just as enriched as their goal of initiating bike sharing had intended to be.
Part II:Redesigning Mobi by Shaw Go
Our goal for the redesign is to improve the interaction throughout the our chosen flow. We had to make changes to the features that had disruptive severity levels to the heuristic principles.
We aimed to fix the issues in the order of priority that we determined by a system where we balanced the severity of the issue against the ease of the fix.
To make the changes, we had to stay faithful to the existing brand colours and typography. We spent some time identifying Mobi’s Primary, Secondary and tertiary brand colours. We noticed there wasn’t much standardization put in place across the website and the app so it took a little bit of decision making to end up on these 3. The consistant typeface we identified was Gotham in various weights.
Additionally we also laid out all the existing icons and symbols we had to work with and their corresponding icon colours.
Constraints: App's Internal Branding
Design Improvement : Landing Page
Design Improvement : Search Bar
Design Improvement: Inputted Location
Design Improvement: Add station to favourites
Design Improvement: Accessing Help
Design Improvement: Checking safety guidelines
Design Improvement: Renting the Bike
Design Improvement: Review your ride